The Effects of Integrating Technology in Curriculum Planning

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Technology today has an impact on every aspect of modern life. Computers control our telephone routing and the engines in our cars. Washing machines can decide when our dishes and clothes are clean. In my opinion, it is time to more fully integrate technology into the educational settings since skillful use of technology supports the development of process skills such as, higher order skills, adaptability, and collaboration that are essential to success in our rapidly changing information age. I believe in Dewey’s words that if we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow (Dewey, 1916). Technology allows us to better serve the diverse learning styles of our students and educate them for a wider range of intelligence. Everybody has different learning styles for meaningful learning but teachers cannot represent all the styles in a traditional classroom environment. However, with the flexibility and help of the technologies, we can design learning environments in which students can manage and construct their own representations of knowledge in their minds.

What does the integration of technology in curriculum planning exactly mean?

On researching on this topic, I came up with the following questions in this regard. Is it being able to create a spreadsheet that calculates student marks? How about typing a handout and printing it out for students? Is it having students line up at a computer to complete several levels of a drill and practice software program? I remember in 2002, the assistant superintendent of my School District set a goal: to ensure all students and staff are proficient in the use of technology acquire and manage information, communication, time, and task. With the NCLB Act mandating technology literacy by the time students reach the eighth grade; many districts started pursuing a similar objective. To prepare for meeting this mandate, my district worked diligently to equip the school community with all the tools it would need to help the students achieve computer proficiency by the end of their eighth grade year. Aldine, a district serving 27,000 students, started the 2002-2003 school year with updated computer facilities, state-of-the-art media centers, a strong technology plan, and plenty of extra funding from the community. With all of these considerations in place, we seemed to be well on our way to achieving a significant goal. From my research, I have come to realize that Curriculum integration with the use of technology involves the infusion of technology as a tool to enhance the learning in a content area or multidisciplinary setting. It is the use of technology by students and teachers to enhance teaching and learning and to support existing curricular goals and objectives. In other words, it’s not about computer classes or some other sort of stand-alone technology curriculum that focuses on teaching students about technology. By and large, it’s more about regular classroom teachers using the different technologies to support the learning of all students within and across curriculum areas. Technology enables students to learn in ways not previously possible. Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally. The technology should become an integral part of how the classroom functions – as accessible as all other classroom tools. (ISTE, page 6)

There are a number of research studies that give evidence that effective teaching and learning with technology can improve student outcomes. For example, research conducted through the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) indicates that students who use technology extensively as part of their daily school experience exhibit the following behaviors and characteristics: •Explore and represent...
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